Void by Helen Darby

No-one here knows why they're here
Every look is What The Fuck
Gated by black-clad Cerberi
barking 'regulars only tonight!'
You swallow pride and shame combined
because you are a regular, now
take your green neon circlet of desperation
and pass through

With every shade and shady denizen
that needs to eke a little longer buzz
of drink or drugs or sex
in a Northern city well supplied
with everything
saving
any other place with doors til 10am

The dancefloor remakes Hieronymus Bosch
as LS Lowry
Strobe and smoke freezing limbs
in attitudes of brokenness
A diorama of grasping
at the last dregs of the night

Young girls spilling out of
sausage casing frocks
Gaggles of cackling twinks
twinkling in smeared glitter
Clouds of frayed drag queens
alight like acid butterflies
after long shifts working their shimmered wings
to pay for a little nectar

In the black corner, Dave
who's seen it all
back to Hacienda days
Who's heavy presence is avuncular
to a point

And the sharks circle in hetero waves
around anything with tits

Sometimes they dance at me
a suggestion of limbs and crotch

Other times perhaps just stand
to sway and weave
in the general direction of my vagina

Glazed


glassy


bossy


rolled back


flickering with nystagmus

It is all in the eyes

More than grope or grab or grind
it is the eyes they try to tag you by

Keep your eyes to the lights
eyes to the white cap of the DJ
this is where your safety lies
As without that catch of eyeballs
they are weirdly powerless, and move on

So you can carve a tiny niche
of privacy and pleasure
from this pit of angsty squalor
Take the beat for your bride
let your own extremities fly
and worship into Sunday dawning
the only answer you know

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